16 killed in Iraq attacks


Bomb and gun attacks in central Iraq killed at least 16 people and wounded more than 20 others on Saturday, security officials and a doctor said. The latest attacks came two days after triple blasts killed 19 people in the southern port city of Basra. At the launch of Saturday’s violence, bombs on each side of the main road from Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, to Fallujah hit a truck carrying construction workers, First Lieutenant Omar Zawbai of the Abu Ghraib police told AFP.
Dr Omar Delli of Fallujah Hospital said “the hospital received seven bodies and seven wounded,” two of whom later died. An interior ministry official put the casualty toll at eight dead and 13 wounded from the Abu Ghraib attack. The official also said three bombs exploded in the Baab al-Sharqi area of central Baghdad, killing seven people and wounding 28 others. A defence ministry official put the toll from the Baghdad blasts at eight dead and 16 wounded.
The interior ministry official also said an employee of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s administration was shot dead by gunmen using silencers near Nisur Square in central Baghdad. Three bombs exploded in Basra on Thursday, killing 19 people, including high-ranking army and police officers, and wounding at least 65. Basra provincial council sacked three top security officers the next day.
Violence has declined nationwide since its peak in 2006 and 2007, but attacks remain common. A total of 258 people were killed in October, according to official figures.